Tips for making your energy bill cheaper
SAVE ON GAS
Shop locally and use other ways of getting around — like walking or biking — whenever you can. If you have to drive, consider carpooling.
To get the best gas mileage, keep your tires inflated and make sure your filters and oil are clean. Use your car’s air conditioner as little as possible. Don't let your car idle — it wastes gas.
SAVE ON ELECTRICITY
Unplug all electronics when you're not using them. Keep your refrigerator coils clean so it doesn’t have to work overtime. Shut off the lights when you leave a room.
Replace incandescent bulbs with fluorescent ones. This can save up to $40 over the life of the bulb.
Consider using a toaster oven instead of your regular one.
SAVE ON WATER
Only wash full loads of dishes. Also, drying dishes yourself cuts energy use in half. Likewise, only wash full loads of laundry, and hang your clothes out to dry if you can.
Heating water accounts for roughly 15 percent of a home’s energy use, so install low-flow shower heads and fix leaks. You can also get a free water-saving kit through the City's Water and Sewer Commission.
SAVE ON COOLING COSTS
Use fans to keep the air moving around your home, and close blinds in windows that face south. Keep your air conditioning set at 78 degrees. With each degree you drop below that on your AC, you increase your energy use by about 7 percent.
If you use an AC, make sure it has a programmable thermostat, and install it in a north-facing window. Installing white window shades in the summer will reflect heat away from your home.
SAVE ON HEATING COSTS
Programmable thermostats save up to $100 a year on heating and cooling costs. Keep your heat at 68 degrees and lower it at night if you can.
Set your water heater between 110-120 degrees. Wrap it in an insulating blanket to keep heat in.
Don't forget to put your storm windows in when it starts getting cold. Never block radiators or heating vents. Make sure vents are clear of dust.
Keep your shades open in the day and close them at night. Make sure you close your fireplace flue when you're not using it.
Get your heating system serviced before wintertime. You'll save up to 5 percent on heating costs.
Check for drafts and install weather-stripping and caulking where it’s needed. You could potentially save up to 20 percent on your heating bill. Install insulation in crawl spaces, attics, walls, and basements.
ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR FREE HOME IMPROVEMENTS?
The Renew Boston program gives eligible residents free energy efficiency improvements. Call 617-635-SAVE to see if you're eligible.